Manchego (officially Spanish: queso manchego, pronounced: ['keso ma?'t?e?o]) is a cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the manchega breed. Official manchego cheese is to be aged for between 60 days and two years.
Manchego has a firm and compact consistency and a buttery texture, and often contains small, unevenly-distributed air pockets. The colour of the cheese varies from white to ivory-yellow, and the inedible rind from yellow to brownish beige. The cheese has a distinctive flavour, well developed but not too strong, creamy with a slight piquancy, and leaves an aftertaste that is characteristic of sheep’s milk.
The designation queso manchego is protected under Spain's Denominación de Origen (DO) regulatory classification system, and the cheese has been granted Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status by the European Union.